Goat Ricotta Cheese and Pine Nut Stuffed Baby Zucchini
I typically serve stuffed zucchini as a side dish. It is very similar to my eggplant rollup recipe. It's very creamy and hearty and is a great accompaniment to red meat, such as a steak or some lamb chops.
What I love most about this dish is that it looks very healthy. But appearances can be deceiving. The green zucchini is the perfect cover for all the cheese and pine nuts that are stuffed inside. It may not be that good for you, but it surely is good. If you still feel guilty after eating this or any other of my recipes, do what the French do: chase after a bus, a train or a metro. I did this for the first 24 years of my life. If that's not possible, you can always go for a walk.
Yields: 8 servings8 baby zucchini
1-1/4 cups goat ricotta cheese
2 Tbs heavy cream
3/4 tsp soy liquid lecithin
2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp nutmeg, freshly grated
8 Tbs pine nuts, slightly toasted, + extra for garnish
1/3 cup mozzarella cheese , shredded
1-1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp white peppercorns, freshly ground
1/2 cup parmesan cheese powder
1-1/2 cups tomato sauce
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
3 Tbs flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
2 Tbs olive oil
1 dry red chili, stemmed
2 tsp butter, melted
Stem the zucchini. Slice them lengthwise in half. Fill a pot with about 2 inches of water. Bring the water to a boil. Place a steamer basket in the pot. Add the zucchini to the basket. Lower the heat to a gentle simmer. Cover and cook for about 5-8 minutes, (make sure there is enough water to prevent the bottom from burning). The flesh should still be a little firm as the zucchini will finish cooking in the oven. Pat dry with a paper towel. Using a melon baller or a spoon, carve out the seeds of the zucchini and create a deep cavity. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
In a saucepan, heat the oil. When the oil is hot, add the dry red chili. As soon as the oil is infused, remove and discard the chili and reserve about 2 teaspoons of the oil. Cook the shallot in the remaining oil until it is slightly golden. Add the garlic. Cook for another 2 minutes, then add the tomato sauce. Season with salt and pepper if necessary.
In a mixing bowl, soften the goat ricotta cheese with heavy cream and liquid lecithin until you get a smooth paste-like consistency. Season with garlic powder, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Mix in 2 tablespoons of flat leaf parsley, about 1/4 cup of mozzarella cheese and 1/4 cup of parmesan.
Spoon a generous amount of the goat ricotta cheese mixture in each baby zucchini.
Brush a thin layer of butter in a casserole dish. Add the tomato sauce. Place the stuffed baby zucchini on the tomato sauce. Finish by sprinkling the rest of the mozzarella cheese and powdered parmesan cheese.
Bake for about 15-20 minutes. Remove from the oven. Immediately drizzle the rest of the chili-flavored olive oil. Finish with some toasted pine nuts and flat leaf parsley.
I finely chop a chunk of parmesan and place the pieces in a mini food processor to obtain parmesan powder.
If you don't own a steamer basket, you can use a metal colander. What I like about steamer baskets is that they are adjustable and fit most pots and pans.
If you can't find goat ricotta cheese, you can replace it with regular whole milk ricotta cheese.Published By: on June 3, 2009.